There’s something wonderful about a pudding (like this chia seed pudding recipe) or custard’s texture. Creamy, sweet, and smooth — a perfect combination! This gluten-free custard tart recipe is no exception.
What is a Custard Tart?
A custard tart consists of a pastry crust filled with a sweetened custard filling. Custard tarts were popular during medieval times in Europe. There is evidence of custard tarts from as early as the 14th century. Recipes from this time consisted of a puff pastry filled with custard. This custard contains milk, cream, eggs, sugar or honey, and spices. A savory version contained broth, eggs, sweetener, and minced (ground) meat.
Where are Custard Tarts From?
Custard tarts were a staple of the British during the Middle Ages since eggs were an easy source of protein that could stretch when made into a custard. But even the rich ate custard tarts. King Henry IV’s coronation banquet served them. While custard tarts are best known as a classic British dish, other countries have their own versions.
- In France, they are flans patissier (flan) and are larger and shallower (made for a crowd instead of an individual).
- In Portugal, they are pastel de nata and are made with cinnamon.
- In Hong Kong, they are egg tarts. The egg tart came to Hong Kong in the early 20th century and was inspired by British and Portuguese custard tarts.
Custard tarts are so versatile, it makes sense that there are many versions of them!
How is a Custard Tart Different From a Quiche?
Both are made with a pastry crust and an egg custard filling, but they are two very different dishes. The main difference between a custard tart and quiche is simple — a quiche does not contain a sweetener, while custards (even the savory ones) do. Another difference is that quiches are usually made in wide shallow dishes and are meant to be cut to serve. Custard tarts are traditionally made in small deep dishes meant to serve one.
How Do You Make a Custard Tart Healthy?
Traditional custard tart ingredients include wheat flour and sugar, both of which my family usually avoid. To make a healthier version I made some adjustments:
- Instead of wheat flour, I chose almond flour. Almond flour is a low glycemic flour that’s also high in protein.
- I chose raw or coconut sugar and maple syrup as sweeteners instead of refined sugar.
- I added grass-fed gelatin for a protein and collagen boost (it also helps the custard set).
Do Custard Tarts Need to Be Refrigerated?
Custard tarts are traditionally served at room temperature. For storage purposes though, refrigeration is a good idea.
Raspberry Custard Tart Recipe
For the pastry:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a medium size bowl, mix together the almond flour and sugar.
- Cut in the cold butter or coconut oil until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- In a small bowl, beat the egg.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the egg.
- Stir until combined and a ball forms.
- Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle the counter top with flour and roll out the dough.
- Cut into 8 equally sized circles to fit into 3 inch diameter tart tins
- Place the dough circles in the tart tins, pressing the edges gently into the grooves.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes and allow cool completely while making the custard filling.
- To make the custard filling, in a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons of the coconut milk and the gelatin and set aside.
- Heat the rest of the coconut milk in a double boiler until hot, but not boiling.
- When it is hot, add the vanilla and maple syrup and stir until dissolved.
- Remove from the heat.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk the egg yolks.
- While whisking constantly, add about ½ cup of the warm coconut milk to the egg yolks 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Whisking constantly, pour the egg yolk/coconut milk mixture back into the double boiler with the remaining coconut milk.
- Heat gently, continuing to whisk until the mixture thickens. Be patient, this may take a while.
- When the custard is ready, add the gelatin mixture and stir to combine.
- Allow the custard to cool down almost completely before pouring into the pastry shells.
- Place the filled custard tarts in the refrigerator to set.
- Add fresh raspberries to the top of each tart just before serving.
Do you like custard desserts? What’s your favorite?
Want More? Similar Recipes to Try
If you want more creamy, dreamy desserts, try some of these: